Gay Marriage Across the Land? Chicago Writer Says Not So Fast


Dennis Byrne writes an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune:

The recent legalization of same-sex marriage in New York proves that it's no longer an issue in the United States, right? Gay marriage will eventually, but certainly, become widely accepted everywhere, right?

Not if the American people have anything to say about it.

... Whatever the polls say, a real test of public opinion will come again in another important referendum next year when Minnesota voters will decide whether to amend their state constitution in support of traditional marriage.

Indeed, Illinois' recent legalization of civil unions for gay (and heterosexual) couples does contribute to a growing feeling of isolation among traditional-marriage supporters. Get on board now or get steamrolled, they are warned. The path of history will lead Americans to view traditional-marriage supporters with the same disdain, even disgust, that now is reserved for past supporters of racial segregation, a recent letter writer to the Tribune observed.

Such comparisons, of course, are loathsome, especially to those of us who were around and giving full voice to civil rights advances when doing so was not a popular position. We understand the difference between eliminating the odious institution of Jim Crow and defending an institution that is one of civil society's oldest, most enduring and beneficial — marriage. It was not for nothing that societies for millenniums recognized marriage for its civilizing properties and stepped in to regulate them secularly.